January 16, 2008
134: A Stitch, In Time
I've been in a creative malaise, coming off the holiday season – I make no bones about it. When I get this way, I see my sketchbook tucked in my backpack and fear it. I fear starting a drawing, even though I know that, quite possibly, even a few minutes into a concept I will be knee-deep in the idea, thinking of the execution and rushing myself toward a conclusion.
Even this week's Illustration Friday theme – stitch – I let slip by until Kerry offered a suggestion of a "creative night", where I would draw (or photograph) and she would work on her writing.
The concept of 'stitch' made me first think of a fantastical species of bird comprised of parts from all my personal favourites: a nuthatch, a saw-whet owl, a snipe or ruddy turnstone perhaps. But recognition of these – and most species – is largely through the head, or by seeing the bird as a whole. Most of these would not make much sense otherwise, visually. But there is a bird that exists (though I haven't seen one, living as far north as I do) that appears naturally stitched together: the painted bunting. Built from red, green and blue, as if invented by a six-year-old wielding a basic pack of Crayolas, the painted bunting was an easy specimen to craft and contort into a submission for Illustration Friday's theme.
The illustration, using a field guide as reference, was created with Pigma Micron pens (of all manner of thicknesses). Scanned, tweaked and coloured in Photoshop, the piece was eventually layered overtop a texture photo of the bottom of a cardboard box. To view a better look at the detail, click here.